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State Department Annual Human Rights Report

Secretary of State John Kerry discusses the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.




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Ukraine 13, Russia 12, Nato 8, Us 7, United States 6, U.s. 5, Syria 5, Kerry 3, Venezuela 3, Obama 2, Michael Crowley 2, Bashar Al-assad 2, Europe 2, Moscow 2, North Korea 2, U.n. 2, John Kerry 2, United Nations 1, Reuters 1, Vladimir Putin 1,
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  CSPAN    State Department Annual Human Rights Report    Secretary of State John Kerry discusses the  
   2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.  

    March 2, 2014
    2:00 - 2:40pm EST  

involved as they ever have been involved. what we are trying to do is make them more responsible by actually reviewing their record on creating a command climate that is consistent with no rape, no assault. the commanders will never have the right to make legal decisions. whether or not we take that away from the 3% of commanders, the purpose is to instill confidence by the victims. if you listen to the victims panel, one was retaliated against by all the senior-level commanders. her hope that a senior-level commander would have her back does not exist. her perception is that all the others in the chain of command will and want you to focus on that. theyyou say i don't think should be less responsible, no one is arguing for them to be less involved or responsible.
everything we've done is making them more responsible and more evolved -- more involved. i just want to remove that appearance. v.a.'s website says it's greater ptsd and undermining patients. i read it why did my opening statements -- i don't know if you are all here, but if you can give me the v.a. website, it says many victims are reluctant to report sexual trauma and many victims say there were no available methods for reporting those experiences to those in authority. that's a perfect example of what our first witness that. she couldt feel like tell everybody because everyone in the chain was retaliating against her. any victims are reluctant to report sexual trauma and many say there was no available method for reporting those experiences to authority. many indicated if they did report harassment it was not believed.
or they were encouraged to keep silent about the experience. reports have had their ignored or have been themselves blame for the experience. type of and validating experience after a sexual trauma is likely to have a significant negative impact on the victims post trauma adjustment. how do you view that analysis? i would offer to you the system we have in place today is not the system we had in place even a few years ago. when mr. panetta took the stand in january 2012 and cited numbers associated with that, he let a chain of events in motion that have substantively changed the landscape of the current military system. this is the system we have now. the increase in the number of
reports that believe what our commanders are doing is correct and supporting them, -- rape victims 10 are reporting today. i would not pat yourself on the back for two out of 10. according to your number, the he know there are more reports but we don't have the base number. it's the sameif thing that happened between 2011 or 2012. before we have the evidence and data, we should not be patting ourselves on the back. it is still a significant failure, so please do not say we are succeeding. it's possible or fear retaliation, we are failing eight out of 10. >> we have a long way to go, you are absolutely correct.
we don't have the raw numbers. we don't know if you have been raped in the military that there don't know what the total number of rapes were this year. don't know if they signed their name to a real report. if we don't have a real report, we are not doing any better. if it is one out of 10 cases, we are still where we were last year. we don't know the raw numbers and can see the data anyway. what's we have had reporting from sexual contact, four percent for women and seven percent, for men, it is between one percent and two percent. context, itorical judge that increase in reporting his progress. >> unless there is an increase in rape like we saw between 11 and 12. and twonstances
services, that was not across the order. >> that was not the dod report. >> i was involved in that. when we had a prevalence survey we were able to judge in better context what the increase in reporting means, given historical data and confirmation from other independent surveys we have had conducted in the last i've years, this increase in reporting is a positive sign. we are not done by any means. have avery cognizant we lot more work to do and it's not a pat on the back by any means. i want to make you understand we do take this very seriously and we are doing everything we can to bring more victims forward so they can get the health and care they need to restore their lives. >> can we go back to the issue of the v.a.'s website? fax i would offer to you this is a snapshot of things and past history.
article, iw this don't know as far as the time aspect goes, but we've had a number of reforms helped by you. we have done a number of things to bring victims forward. >> dr. bell? >> i am best -- this looks like it is coming from the ptsd website which is a v.a. entity. i am thinking research wise that types ofnly know the reactions people get after experiences of sexual assault are pivotal in their recovery. we know it is the biggest and
strongest predictors of their recovery afterward. i think the systemic response is the support from family friends more generally is going to strongly shape someone's recovery after something like this. >> thank you all for testifying. i am extremely grateful for the hard work you are doing and extremely grateful you have taken it upon yourself with the dod and v.a. to meet the needs of these survivors. i know this is a hard and difficult road ahead of us but i trust your commitment and i'm for the commitment because you are the difference between the men and women receiving commitment and not. thank you for your service and thank you for being here today.
>> more now on the situation in ukraine from reuters which reports nato ambassadors are holding an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in ukraine. meeting, nato secretary-general told reporters that russia was in violation of the united nations charter and the current situation in his own word threatens peace and security in europe. ukraine isorts while associated with nato that it's not an official member and cannot invoke what is known as article five which states an attack against one member of nato is an attack against all members. putting at some facebook comments on the issue -- for more on the situation in ukraine and the options for their community, we spoke with a
correspondent covering the story. >> joining us live on the phone as michael crowley, the chief foreign correspondent for time magazine. thank you for being with us. you indicated in this piece you posted over the weekend that the options for president obama are in your words painfully limited. how so? , it is justtely that. there's not a lot of leverage in this situation. russia has the proximity to ukraine, the economic ties and social and ethnic ties. the stakes are much higher for battle -- for vladimir putin. this matters much more to him than it does to the united states and the west. side, we have certain ways we can try to punish russia ,hrough economic sanctions
maybe targeting individuals, but cane's only so much we really do, particularly when everyone knows there's absolutely no chance we are going to commit troops of our own or use military force in this situation. for some reason, the president and administration is left to condemnations and rhetoric, trying to shame the russians like we just heard from ambassador power. when we used this kind of rhetoric condemning moscow's support of the syrian dig tater, bashar al-assad, putin shrugged it off and doesn't seem to care that much about it. undoes have a veto at the security council, so that is a dead-end for us. there's just not a lot of leverage. >> david kramer served as assistant that beauty secretary of state and his areas of expertise include russia and ukraine. he says u.s. follow-up -- u.s.
foreign policy comes home to roost. the u.s.a few things can do. any contingency, it's necessary and says we need to have an emergency session of nato and imposing sanctions against russian state owed banks and institutions. how effective would any of these be? -- >> i think on the sanctions, we can problem leak have a little pain. it's not a case like iran where we could choke the russian economy. tohink we could do things make things inconvenient and we might be able to target some russian oligarchs. i haven't seen any evidence we could have an influence economically that will dramatically change the
situation. like moving warships and mobilizing nato, i think that is saber rattling. i don't think russia will take it seriously and if russia did take any kind of military maneuvers seriously, we will have escalated the problem to a level we do not want will stop europe and the united states does not want the potential for an actual military confrontation with russia over this. i just don't think the stakes are high enough, however terrible we may find whatever putin is doing to be. i just don't think it's worth the chance of military conflict, so moving ships around and symbolic nato action will not get us far. let me get your reaction to
this statement issued by secretary of state john kerry who is basically reiterating it today on sunday morning programs. he says a less immediate and concrete steps are taken in russia to de-escalate tensions, the effect on u.s. russian relations and russia's international standing will be profound. i convened the call was my counterparts around the world and we were unified in our assessment and we will work closely together to support ukraine and its people at this historic hour. earlier, thements u.s. suspending talks in sochi, we hear the same from france and the u.k.. idea, thisk this ofk of kicking russia out the g8 and turning it into the g7, there is a kind of national pride putin has. i don't think he cares much
about being shamed or lectured were being told he's being a bad guy. i think he has determined for russia to have great power status and influence. what i don't know is how much he really cares about his g-8 designation and roll. that may be one interesting avenue. i am skeptical that will be decided in this situation. think we can talk about profound consequences, but we have used rhetoric in regards to syria. putin has been supporting bashar al-assad for years now. administration officials, including kerry have denounced putin in the strongest terms, saying he's enabling the slaughter of civilians in syria and just doesn't seem to care. care enough about the
g-8 role and his country's status and prestige in that regard to modify the behavior? maybe. i think he cares a great deal about crimea and ukraine and what happens there. one other thing when you talk about what we are willing to do change the behavior, you have to member we need putin's help. we very much need his help on some other high priorities for foreign policy. establishing economic sanctions against tehran and maintaining them, preventing people from and doing things around the margins. we need them on board to support that sanctions regime to get a deal where iran scales back its
the clear program. if we have hostile relations without vladimir putin, he will try to exploit those differences and i'm sure in the obama white house, they are thinking we've got to push them on ukraine and other issues for which he is still a central partner whether or not we like it will stop >> michael crowley's piece is available online at with this headline. ukraine is the latest example of obama's limited go -- limited global influence. the u.s. president is a frustrated i stand her. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. , more on the international outlook. we will be joined by josh rogan with the latest detail from the ukraine. reaction from marco rubio and secretary of state john kerry on the sunday morning talk shows today. here is what they had to say.
>> if you are asking whether the u.s. should be taking military strikes against russian troops in the u.k. or -- in the ukraine or crimea, i don't think anyone is advocating for that. our nato alliance needs to be reinvigorated. it's an important alliance. the ukraine and poland are part of that alliance and we need to provide assurance of the importance of this alliance and i think we should revisit the missile defense shield we talked about so often. beyond that, as part of strengthening and stabilizing the government in kiev so they can transition to stability down the road, part of that should be strengthening their defense capabilities. athink the threat is long-term one they are facing. >> let me make it clear -- resident putin is not operating from a place of strength here. janik overage was his supported president. was out despite his
support. president putin is using force in a completely inappropriate invite the would opprobrium of the world. gain fromoing to this. he may have his troops for some unless heimea resolves this, but the fact is he's going to lose on the international stage will stop russia is going to lose, the russian people are going to lose , he's going to lose the glow that came out of the olympics, his $60 billion extravaganza. to have a sochi g-8. he may not even remain in the g-8 if this continues. he may find himself with asset freezes of russian businesses and american businesses may pull back and there may be a further tumble of the ruble. there is a huge price to pay. the united states is united, russia is isolated and that's not a position of strength.
>> more from secretary kerry last week -- he released the 2013 human rights report, an annual report that reviews human rights around the world. the acting assistant secretary of state for democracy, human joint, and labor secretary kerry the briefing and to question from reporters. the entire briefing lasted about 40 minutes. >> good morning, everybody will excusing. i have a little allergy this morning. i'm delighted to be here for the second human rights report i have issued as secretary.
pleased to berly here with our acting assistant deputy secretary, as i think all you know is performing that but who has done just a spectacular job and has led the department in a year-long process to track and make the assessments reflected here. so i thank her for a job particularly well done on this year's human rights report. struggle foral dignity, decency and treatment of human beings and the treatment of its state and citizens is a driving force in all of human history.
for our own nations journey, we know this is a work in progress. into ouras written constitution before it was written out. the struggle for equal others,or women, for the lgbt community and others is an ongoing struggle. it is because of the current agenda commitment of citizens in each generation that the united states has come closer to owning weto our own ideals, even as come together today to issue a report on other nations, we hold ourselves to high standards. we expect accountability here at home and we know we are not perfect. we do not speak with any with ace whatsoever, but
concern for the human condition. our own journey has not and without great ethical the. at times, contradiction. humble aboutmain the challenges of our own history, we are proud that no country has more opportunity to advance the cause of democracy and no country is as committed to the cause of human rights as we are. timely.r is especially heels of one of the most momentous years for the struggle for freedom and civil rights in history. in syria, hundreds were ordered in the dead of night when a disaster occurred at the hands toa dictator who decided infect the air of damascus with a poisonous gas. many more have been unfortunately confined to die
under a barrage of errol bombs, scud missiles, artillery, and other conventional weapons. thousands of, workers perished in the greatest workplace safety disaster in history. nigeria to russia to iran, indeed in some 80 countries, the world over, lgbt communities faced discriminatory laws and practices that attack their basic human dignity and undermine their safety. are seeing new laws like the anti-homosexuality bill enacted by uganda and signed into law by the president earlier this week which not only makes criminals of people for who they are, but punishes those who defend the human rights that are universal birthright. these laws contribute to a global trend of rising violence
and discrimination against lgbt persons and their supporters. everyre an affront to reasonable conscience and the united states will stand with our lgbt brothers and sisters as we stand up for freedom, for justice, for equal rights for all people around the world. report, wes years join with many other nations in reaffirming our commitment to a world where speaking one's mind does not lead to prosecution. -- whereofessing professing one's love does not lead to persecution. a world where practicing more changing one's faith does not lead to imprisonment and where marching peacefully in the street does not get you beaten up in a blind alley or even killed in plane site. notme be clear -- this is just some high-minded exercise.
comprehensive,t authoritative, dispassionate and factual review of the state of human rights globally and every american should be proud of it. acting assistant secretary and the bureau of democracy and labor and consulates around the world have spent countless hours researching and writing these reports, engaging activists, talking to governments and analyzing ngo and media reports. that is why they capture the attention of dictatorships and democracies alike. this is about accountability, it's ending impunity, about a fight that has gone on for centuries, as long as human beings have been able to write him a think and act on their own. the struggle for rights and
dignity couldn't be more relevant to what we are seeing transpire across the globe. the places we face some of the greatest national security challenges today are also places where governments deny basic human rights to their nations people. and is no coincidence particularly no coincidence in an age where people have access and want access to more information and the freedom to access information and be able to act on the basis of that information. is what has always characterized democracy and free people. it is no coincidence that in north korea, the u.n. commission of inquiry found clear and compelling evidence of wholesale torture and crimes against humanity. who have beenple executed summarily and fired at
by artillery, fired at by antiaircraft weapons. they literally obliterate human beings and this has occurred with people and masses being , a form of under intimidation and it's no coincidence that the first use of a weapon of mass distraction in the last quarter century came from a dictatorship in syria in trying to suppress a popular uprising, and trying to suppress the aspirations of young people who simply wanted jobs and education. it is no coincidence the brutal violence we've seen in south sudan and a central african republic is rooted in cycles of violence stemming from past abuses, marginalization,
discrimination, and an unwillingness to listen. so the united states of america will continue to speak out without a hint of arrogance or apology on behalf of people who stand up for their universal rights. we will stand up in many cases for those who are deprived of the opportunity to be able to stand up for themselves. venezuela where the government has confronted peaceful protesters by deploying armed vigilantes and imprisoning students, and severely limiting freedoms of expression and assembly. the solution to venezuela's problems are not found through violence. they will not be found through violence, but only through dialogue, with all venezuelans in a climate of mutual itpectful stop we will do industry long ago where the government has not answered basic demands for accountability and reconciliation.
where attacks on civil society activists and religious minorities still continue. concern about this ongoing situation has led the united states to support and other human rights council resolution at the march session. we knowdo so because countries that deny human rights and human dignity challenge our interests as well as human interests. countries that advance those values, those countries that embrace those rights are countries that actually create opportunities. from yemen to tunisia, which i just visited last month, we have seen how national dialogue and democratic progress can make countries more stable and make them stronger partners for peace and prosperity. we all just saw in real time in the last days, tens of thousands took to the street to demonstrate against
-- to demonstrate again the power of people to demand a more democratic and accountable governance and stand up even against those who would sniper from roots and take their lives in the effort to have their voices heard. we continue to see a country isolated for so many years slowly moving away, not just from dictatorship, but toward a more reductive heart ring with the united states and international community. there are plenty of examples of laces that choose a different .oad and strive to make it work as today's report makes it clear, burma still faces reforming andm undemocratic constitution to ending discrimination and violence against ethnic minorities. but we must continue to encourage progress even as lease
be honestly about the problems that persist. my first year as secretary of state, i've been very fortunate to see with my own eyes what we can accomplish when we see and use our power and influence to empower others to be able to change things for the better. inspired by the civil society activists i've met within many of the countries i've been to, and hanoi, for instance, people standing up for their fundamental rights to speak out and associate freely. i am -- i am inspired by the human rights pioneer i met in moscow who spent a lifetime fighting for the basic rights we take for granted here in the united states. i'm inspired by a group of young -- southeasta and asian land rights activist i met
last year who understand societal problems are best solved when the government works with civil society not against it. the truth is, some of the greatest accomplishments in expanding the cause of human rights have come not because of legislative decree or judicial fiat, but they came through the awesomely courageous act of whether it is fighting government transparency alex demanding justice and transparency and accountability in belarus. an activists wrapping for greater political freedom in cuba or someone writing for freedom of
expression in ethiopia, every single one of these people are demonstrating a brand of moral courage that we need now more than ever. this year, there's another name on all of our minds. that is the first human rights report since the passing of one of the most courageous individuals of all time, nelson mandela. mandela was more than an inspiration. he was a model. been in the world, i've homes and offices where his unmistakable face was on posters and prints. namedso many young kids nelson in africa, but so many other laces where people are aspiring for real change. his influence was that powerful. even in his absence, the example he set will long endure. we carry on his work for those who are walking picket lines, who are sitting in prison cells, sometimes unknown to anyone but
those in their family who are protesting from cairo to caracas to kiev. ask ourselves as we do this, if we don't stand with these brave men and women, what do we stand for and who will stand with them? if we don't give voice to those who are voiceless, who do we speak for and who will give voice to them? dignity, ifor human believe, president obama believes, all of us believe in this country is unstoppable and today, we reaffirm our commitment to stand with the many who see dignity and against the few who deny it. that is how we live up to our ideals and that's how we will meet the demands of this moment and how we will build a more stable and peaceful world. things over, let me leave you with one final thought. we have a big agenda. means we need our full team
on the field so we can get to work. frankly, it is unacceptable so many of our nominees, countless numbers of ambassadors to very important countries awaiting confirmation, our national security is not served by keeping many professionals, people who have waited patiently been a professional -- in a perpetual limbo. neither is our ability to support democratic rights for people around the world enhanced by what is happening. let me give you an example of what is happening -- tom is a human rights champion who the president picked as his nominee to be the next assistant secretary for democracy, human rights, and labor. he has wrong bipartisan support. we know of no objection to his nomination, none, yet he has
been waiting more than 220 days to be confirmed. now is the time to send a strong signal we are not content to sit on the sidelines. i asked and i hope our colleagues in the senate will help tom get on the job so we can continue to lead in these very kinds of issues i've laid out today. ready to leave. that is when america is at its best and that's the vision that has always inspired people and always will. it is with that understanding we are committed to continue this important work to defend the rights of people all around the world. that is how we became a nation and that is how we will stay the nation we want to be. i thank you very much and i will leave it in the good hands of my colleague.
>> thank you, mr. secretary and good morning, everyone. as in years past, i would like to take a few minutes to share some of the major elements we found in this year's human rights reports and i would be happy to answer some of your questions. well be 20 team may known for some of the most egregious atrocities and me -- in recent memories. this includes events in syria where a single chemical weapons attack last him or killed over a thousand civilians in a single day. in north korea, where rampant disappearances, detention and torture were so deplorable that just last week, the u.n. commission of inquiries compared the regime's actions to those of not the germany or stalin's . we document these and other abuses in a series of reports covering almost 200 distinct countries and territories.
they chronicle those violations and abuse that venerated headlines and those that took place in relative security. those that continued unmitigated and those that have receded in part due to domestically driven change for pressure. details, i encourage members of the press and audiences all over the world to delve into the full reports on or human for now, i would like to focus on several trends that stood out. obama as president declared last september, a growing number of countries are cracking down on civil society and restrict inc. peaceful assembly. of this reality is apparent in every corner of the globe. in sri lanka, where attacks against activists and journalists contributed to a atmosphere of fear and self-censorship, whereas in
disperseob sought to people and in egypt, or state security forces killed many demonstrators and arrested many activists against the mubarak regime. now, two months into 2014, the trend persists in venezuela, where the government continues to stifle dissent through force and restrict information sharing on television, radio, and the internet. russia wherein protesters have been sentenced to between three and four years in jail and a politically motivated trial. in ukraine, however, when a sustained protest unit calling for government accountability and reform was met with increasing violence, supporters of the government roque with their party to come together with the opposition in the legislature. in response to the violence,